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Full text of "Recent British vivisections, 1917 : a record of cruelties perpetrated under the National Insurance Act and in private research work"

Recent British 
Vivisections 

(1917) 



A RECORD OF CRUELTIES 
PERPETRATED UNDER THE 
NATIONAL INSURANCE ACT 



-AND IN- 



PRIVATE RESEARCH WORK 



By 

Walter R. Hadwen, 

M.D., J.P. 



PRICE ONE PENNY 



PUBLISHED BY THE 

British Union for Abolition of Vivisection, 

32, CHARING CROSS, LONDON, S.W. 1. 



Ktli C«JHtI IB. 



HCSTqfMl**- 



C«lrW» C 'n«f« 



Mv"v9^€cIL 






Recent British Vivisections (1917 ) 



HHHE following record of cruelty in British 
laboratories appeared first in the form of three 
articles in the Abolitionist of September, October 
and November, 1917. 

The first chapter describes experiments on dogs, 
cats and monkeys, and gives evidence of the 
infliction of lengthened sufferings. The question 
of ancesthetisation need not be considered , inasmuch 
as the main cuelty consisted in the effects of the 
operations performed, and not in their actual per- 
formance. It xvill be seen that no definite or useful 
residts were obtained, and that the experiments were 
financed by the National Insurance Committee, 
under which the money had been obtained for a 
totally different purpose. 

The second chapter relates some horrible experi- 
ments upon dogs, the condition to which they were 
reduced being plainly revealed by a photograph 
published by the experimenters in June, 1917 ; other 
similar photographs are added. 

The third chapter reveals a further waste of 
money raised at the expense of the nation under 
the Insurance Act. This article gives a general 
idea of the fantastic and absurd inquiries in the 
interests of which so many animals are continually 
being cruelly sacrificed. 



CHAPTER I. 

A NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE SCANDAL 



IT is now nearly twenty years since we described in 
the Abolitionist certain cruel experiments per- 
formed upon dogs and monkeys by Dr. Edmunds, 
consisting of the complete and partial removal of their 
thyroids and parathyroids. From that time to the 
present, thousands of similar experiments have been 
conducted by vivisectors in this and other countries. 

The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Physiology 
for March, 1917 (edited by five of the chief English 
vivisectors), brings these investigations up to date. 
They consist of a long series of experiments in which 
large numbers of dogs, cats, rabbits and rats were 
used up. 

The investigations were undertaken : 

(1) To gain further knowledge of the disturbances of 
the nervous system which follow the removal of 
the parathyroids, and of their relation to a 
peculiar nervous condition called tetany (compri- 
sing usually a rigid condition of the muscles of 
the extremities, spasms of the larynx and 
epileptiform convulsions), which is chiefly met 
with in young children. 

(2) To throw some light upon the factors which were 
responsible for these conditions. 

(3) To further elucidate the functions of the 
parathyroids. 

The thyroid gland is a small swelling situated in front 
of the upper part of the windpipe, which occasionally 
grows to an abnormal size, when it is called goitre, and 
the parathyroids are small bodies of seemingly similar 
structure lying in the vicinity of the thyroid. 

AFRAID OF ANTI-VIVISECTIONISTS. 

Tetany in children was first described by Clarke in 
1815 — now a little more than a century ago — and 
experiments on animals' thyroids were, apparently, 
first undertaken by Astley Cooper, some twenty years 



later, namely in 1836. He removed the thyroids in 
two pups, a dog and an ass, and in an appendix to 
Guy's Hospital Reports, he promised a description of 
" the interesting symptoms which supervened," but 
they were never published. Two writers (Drs. Noel 
Paton and Leonard Findlay) remark : 

" Probably this was one of the series of 

experimental investigations, which, as stated in his 

Life, he abandoned through fear of agitation against 

him by anti-vivisectionists." 
This is interesting, and, if true, would show that there 
was an active protest against vivisectional practices in 
this country forty years before Miss Frances Power 
Cobbe (the foundress of the British Union for the 
Abolition of Vivisection) commenced her agitation. 

Thirty-three years later (in 1859), a German, Moritz 
Schiff, published an account of his extirpations of the 
thyroid in dogs, cats and guinea-pigs, all of which 
drew a blank so far as useful knowledge was concerned. 

There seems to have been a lull for another twenty 
years, when experiments on the thyroids and para- 
thyroids of animals became more general, and since 
that time until now, thousands of sentient animals 
have been exploited ; these latest experiments by Drs. 
Noel Paton and Findlay, and others, occupy no less than 
180 quarto pages of the March issue of the Quarterly 
Journal of Experimental Physiology. 

NO ADVANCE THROUGH VIVISECTION. 

We may well ask, after all this welter of animal 
torture and sacrifice, what has been gained thereby, so 
far as it has any bearing upon the alleviation of human 
suffering or the acquisition of useful knowledge ? The 
investigators themselves provide the answer : 

" Clarke, who first described tetany (1815), thought 
that it was due to some disease of the brain, and 
even to-day all we can definitely assert is that it is 
characterised by, and due to, a hyper-excitability of 
the nervous system ; but how far the brain, the spinal 
cord, or the peripheral neurones are affected, and 
what causes the hyper-excitability is not known." 
This negative result, after more than a century of 
vivisection, is a bad advertisement for the practice. 

There have been many theories as to what the 
primary causes of the tetany conditions could be. 



Some have claimed that they are rheumatic in nature ; 
others that they resulted from errors in diet ; others 
again that they were due to certain occupations. 
Some thought they were caused by too much lime 
salts in the brain ; others, that they arose because 
there was too little ; in fact every theory, as it came 
along, was associated with fallacies, exceptions and 
contradictions. 

TETANY IN "RICKETY" CHILDREN. 

Rickets claimed and still claims a leading place 
among the numerous theories of origin, as "tetany" is 
frequently found among rickety children, but then it is 
known to occur in breast-fed children which are not 
rickety, and rickets does not explain tetany in adults. 

It has been thought to be due to a specific infection, 
but without sufficient evidence to support the idea. 

The theory which has obtained, however, the most 
popular favour among a certain class, during the last 
three or four decades, has been that tetany is due to a 
functional or organic disturbance of the thyroid gland, 
or of the parathyroids. The idea was conceived owing 
to symptoms of tetany having occurred after excision 
of the thyroid gland. 

The first operator (in 1880) believed it to be due to 
the absorption of septic poison after the operation 
(which is probably the cause of the very definite 
condition known as tetanus, resulting from wounds 
that have not been cleansed). Others thought that 
injury to the nerves during the course of the operation 
was the cause of the tetany, especially as the same 
symptoms occurred in connection with goitre, tuber- 
culosis and other affections of the thyroid ; but 
similar symptoms have been known in abundance where 
there was no goitre and no thyroid affection. 

Then came the theory of the parathyroids as the 
exciting cause of tetany. It was ten years ago, in 1907, 
that a German, having found blood in the parathyroids 
of children who had died of convulsions, came to the 
conclusion that the bleeding had been caused at birth 
in consequence of difficult labour, and the injury to 
the parathyroids was therefore responsible for the 
tetany. This was contradicted by many others who 
found no blood in the parathyroids under similar 
circumstances. 



A FINE CHANCE FOR THE EXPERIMENTER. 

As the result of all this mass of theory and 
contradiction, a fine field of exploration, extending 
over years, was opened up to the view of the vivisector, 
who came to the conclusion that the question could 
only be answered by experiments on dogs and cats and 
other animals. Cutting out their thyroids entirely, 
cutting them out bit by bit, cutting out all the para- 
thyroids, cutting out some and leaving others, cutting 
out the thyroid and only part of the parathyroids, and 
so on, in endless diversions, such were the experiments 
that were conducted with a view to solving the problem 
of tetany in children. 

The work began in earnest, in 1884, by Schiff cutting 
away the thyroid in a dog, when certain nervous 
symptoms resulted. He then took the thyroid of 
another dog and sewed it into the abdomen of the 
first dog, when, he says, the nervous symptoms 
abated. Then another German, Wagner, in the 
same year did it in cats, and Sir Victor Horsley, 
in 1885, wound up the series with monkeys. But — 
as is the way with vivisectors — the authors of the 
treatise in the Quarterly do not agree with the latter's 
conclusions. 

As the result of many hundreds of these horrible 
experiments, the conclusion was finally arrived at that 
if you cut away the thyroids and parathyroids in dogs, 
cats, and monkeys, their dispositions are altered, they 
become nervous, depressed and sluggish, they shake their 
paws (which is called "water shaking"), they get 
contraction of the larynx with difficult breathing, 
sometimes their heads are thrown back and their spines 
arched so that they rest on head and hind legs, their 
legs jerk and show muscular tremors and stiffness, and 
they suffer from convulsions in all degrees of severity, 
become emaciated and refuse to take their food, fall 
about, suffer from diarrhcea, become prostrate with 
weakness and usually succumb in a convulsive fit. 

As a variation, holes were bored in bones, and bits of 
thyroid transplanted therein, to prevent the develop- 
ment of tetany, and then taken out again to watch 
results, but our present authors candidly confess that 

" the benefit said to be produced .... is 

frequently more apparent than real, and that it is 



merely one of those temporary intermissions in the 
intensity of the symptoms." 

INSURANCE MONEY REQUISITIONED. 

Now, it was to continue all this sort of thing that an 
application for financial aid was made to the Medical 
Research Committee of the National Insurance Act, 
and funds were granted out of the English public purse 
for the prosecution of a scheme for studying the cause 
of tetany under the innocent name of " Rickets." At 
least, such is the statement made by Sir Edwin 
Cornwall to Mr. H. G. Chancellor, in reply to a question 
in the House of Commons, and the following is a copy 
of the official scheme which the parliamentary 
representative of the National Health Insurance Joint 
Committee has supplied to our Parliamentary Repre- 
sentative, declaring that he knows no more of the matter 
than what appears in this innocent-looking " scheme." 



RICKETS. 



Investigations of the 
common deficiency factor 
in diets of children who 
develop rickets, systemat- 
isationof hospital dietetic 
records. Relative effici- 
encies of curative diets. 



Relation of fat 
holism to rickets. 



meta- 



General metabolism in 
rickets : analytic studies. 



Bristol : Work under direc- 
tion of Prof. Walker Hall. 
Visiting assistance, etc. 
Glasgow : Work under direc- 
tion of Prof. Muir and 
Prof. Noel Paton. 
Statistical investigation and 

visiting expenses. 
Chemist (part time). 
Histologist (whole time). 
Dr. Renton, surgical assist- 
ance. 
Dr. Findlay, clinical assistance 
London : (i.) Dr. Corry Mann 
(Evelina Hospital). 

Visitor, etc. 
(ii.) Work under direction 
Dr. Garrod and Dr. Still 
(Great Ormond Street 
Hospital). 
London: Absorption of choles- 
terol and its distribution 
in the body in rickets. 
Dr. J. C. Gardner. 
Sheffield : Prof. Leathes. 

Assistant. 
Leeds : Work directed by 
Prof. Grunbaum and Dr. 
Dudley. 
Assistant (whole time). 



4. Determination of growth 
factors, with special 
reference to rickets. 



Effects of rickets on the 
incidence and mortality 
of other diseases. 



Cambridge : Worker directed 

by Prof. Hopkins. 
Edinburgh : Prof. Ritchie. 

Relation of pituitary and 

other factors to growth. 

Dr. Fraser (part time). 
London : Dr. E. Mellanby 
(London Hospital). 

Chemical Assistant (part 
time). 

Dr. Plimmer, Prosector to 
Zoological Gardens; 
occasional assistance and 
expenses. 

Collection of information 
from fox-hound kennel- 
masters. 

Central Institute : Dr. 
Brownlee and Assistants : 
with co-operation offered 
by Sir George Newman 
and his staff. 



WHAT THIS "SCHEME" CONCEALED. 

No one could possibly suppose that, under cover of 
this colourless " scheme," many scores of outrageous 
experiments on animals would be perpetrated and that 
no less than four vivisectors (Alexander Watson, 
David Burns, George M. Wishart, and J. S. Sharpe) 
would be engaged in the work and contribute articles 
on the subject, whose names do not appear in the 
official list of persons authorised to conduct the in- 
vestigation. 

It is quite impossible to say under which head these 
experiments could have been carried out. Apparently, 
the " scheme " having been accepted and the money 
grants allowed, the vivisectors proceeded to do as they 
chose, without any further control, and applied for and 
obtained from another department — the Home Office — 
the necessary licences to prosecute their work. 

Although, probably, we know as much about rickets 
as we shall ever know, we, nevertheless, would raise no 
objection to harmless looking investigations such as 
appear in the above list, conducted, as they should be, 
among human subjects and in a way that could offend 
no humane susceptibility. In fact, from time im- 
memorial, such investigations have been conducted 
voluntarily by medical men interested in the subject, 



and upon their results our present scientific knowledge 
of the subject rests. But we do protest against such 
investigations being placed in the hands of vivisectors 
supported out of the public purse, and their being 
allowed to pursue their work among dogs and cats in 
physiological laboratories from which it is impossible 
to eliminate cruelty, this work being fraught with 
endless fallacies consequent upon differences in physical 
constitution and all the conflicting elements associated 
with pain, distress and operative complications. 

TRYING TO PRODUCE TETANY. 

In the first of the seven articles before us, written by 
Drs. Noel Paton and Leonard Findlay, they definitely 
say: 

"Our object was to produce the condition of tetania para- 
thyreopriva in as large a proportion of the animals used as possible, 
and this can be done most certainly by complete thyroparathyroid- 
ectomy." 

(That is, by cutting away entirely the thyroid and 
parathyroids in animals, in order to produce the 
various symptoms already mentioned.) They say : 

"Our first series of experiments were made upon cats. These 
animals are specially well suited to extended series of observations 
. . . since . . . the symptoms are less rapidly fatal than in 
dogs. In investigating the role of the different parts of the central 
nervous system, and in the metabolic investigations, dogs were 
used. Some observations were also made upon monkeys, chiefly 
with the view of noting whether in them the hands and feet are 
affected in the same way as those parts in idiopathic tetany 
[' idiopathic ' means, not produced by any known cause] in the 
human subject. For some of the work upon guanidin, rabbits and 
rats were also used." 

Several detailed accounts of such results are given, 
and carbon tracings of the tremors and jerkings in the 
legs of dogs are reproduced. We will select one 
example of what these animals were called upon to go 
through in the interests of experimental physiology. 
The number will give some idea of the numerous 
animals of one class alone used in these experiments. 

EXPERIMENT ON "CAT 91." 

"Cat 91. — The right sciatic nerve cut on 18/11. Thyropara- 
thyroidectomy [that is, cutting out thyroids and parathyroids] 
on 19/11. On 21/11 marked spasticity, with water-shaking and 
tremors. The facial phenomenon was marked. On 22/11 
coarse jerkings were added to the other symptoms, and the 
animal ran backwards and tended to fall to the left. On 23/11 
spasticity, tremors and jerkings as before. In the morning the 



10 

animal tended to fall forwards, with head down and hind 
quarters up. In the afternoon, when put on the floor, it spun 
or sprung round its long axis from right to left, and when it 
reached the wall it leaned upon it. 24/11 very depressed. 
Several times sudden attacks of disturbances of balance. The 
head was flexed between the fore-legs, the legs were extended, 
back arched, and in this position it sprang round its long axis. 
These attacks were brought on by placing the animal on its 
back. It was killed by chloroform." 

The above description needs no comment, beyond 
noting that this state of things went on for at least a 
week, during which time no anaesthetic was administered 
subsequent to its use at the initial operation. 

A photograph is given of the two sides of a monkey's 
hand ; the description is as follows : 

Small RJiesus. No symptoms were observed, but the animal 
was very dull and used its hands awkwardly. It was found dead 
on the third day, apparently after a convulsion, the hands being 
flexed and thumbs adducted as shown in fig. 6. 

NOTHING NEW LEARNT. 

In Part II. of these investigations, the experimenters 
— Drs. Noel Paton, Leonard Findlay and Alexander 
Watson — inform us : 

" All the nervous symptoms are undoubtedly due to the 
condition of the central nervous system." 

This was what Clarke said over a century ago and a 
fact with which we are all acquainted. 

"Of the relative parts played by the three great arcs — the spinal, 
the cerebellar, and the cerebral — a considerable amount of work has 
been done, but it has given no decisive answer to the question." 

Numerous experiments are then recorded by the 
authors with a view to elucidate these points. They 
completely removed both sides of the brains of cats 
and describe the symptoms. 

The poor animals lived in this condition several days, 
and the conclusion arrived at is that " removal of the 
cerebrum increases the violence of the symptoms." 
What those symptoms are we have already seen. The 
animals seem usually to have died in convulsions. 

Then, after the usual parathyroidectomy, the spinal 
cords of dogs were cut in order to see the effect in the 
cerebellar area, and the experimenters came to the 
same conclusion arrived at by Biedl some time 
previously. 

After this, the spinal area was considered, and the 
spinal cord cut lower down, and the symptoms duly 
recorded. We are told that " the epileptiform attacks 



11 

that so often cause death are strikingly similar to 
ordinary epileptic fits in which the cerebrum is un- 
doubtedly involved." 

We are wondering, as we proceed, what all this has 
to do with " Rickets." 

Part III. is concerned with electrical reactions 
conducted upon large numbers of dogs and cats. 
Many of the electrical reactions were tried after the 
head had been removed from the body. 

EXPERIMENTS MULTIPLY. 

Part IV. discusses the question as to why nervous 
symptoms such as have been recorded should take 
place as the result of the excision of the thyroid and 
parathyroid glands, and discusses the many theories 
supported by numerous experimenters, and how far 
they correspond with the writer's own. 

In order to see if the nervous conditions were due to 
certain poisonous substances being set free in the 
system, normal animals were injected with similar 
substances to those which it was thought might have 
been excreted in the system. For instance, the 
writers say : 

" We have made a few observations on the effects of intravenous 
injection of ammonium salts in cats, and we find that the move- 
ments produced are of the nature rather of coarse jerkings than 
of fine tremors." 

After discussing the many views of others as to the 
probability that some " guanidin-like " substance 
circulating in the blood was responsible for the 
symptoms, Drs. Paton and Findlay say : 

" We have made an extensive series of experiments on the 
action of guanidin hydrochloride in rabbits, rats and cats. With 
methyl guanidin nitrate we have performed a smaller series 
. . . . In all these experiments the symptoms produced were 
indistinguishable from those of tetany following parathyroid- 
ectomy." 

Illustrations are then given of several experiments 
on cats. They are very revolting, and need not be 
further described ; they are, as the vivisectors say, a 
repetition of the symptoms already mentioned. 
Tremors, jerking and convulsions play the most 
prominent part. In one case the cat " lashed its tail 
from side to side, showed some excitement and circled 
to the right." In another 

"After twelve minutes, jerking of the left hind leg when the 
cat was held up. Two minutes later these jerkings involved both 



12 

hind legs and the tail. The cat could move about, but the hind 
legs seemed paralysed. The hair on the back was erected." 

Part V. records a number of experiments on the 
urine of animals under normal conditions, and also 
after feeding with various diets. These experiments 
were repeated after their parathyroids had been cut 
away. Subsequently the urine of children suffering 
from tetany was tested. As a result, the conclusion 
was arrived at that in the case of the last two conditions 
(i.e., in the urine of dogs and children) the amount of 
guanidin was increased. 

NOTHING CONCLUSIVE. 

Part VI. deals with some ingenious experiments per- 
formed by Dr. Wishart in cross circulation in frogs, by 
immersing the muscles of their legs in the blood of a 
dog or cat killed immediately after its thyroids and 
parathyroids had been excised. And the operator 
concludes that the results in the frog are the same as 
when guanidin is administered, but the susceptibility of 
the muscles of different frogs varies so much as to render 
the test unreliable. 

In Part VII. Dr. David Burns attempts to show the 
differences in the amount of nitrogen found in animals 
after their parathyroids have been removed. 

All the old horrible symptoms ensued, in which con- 
dition the dogs' urine was drawn off by a catheter and 
examined, and Dr. Burns concluded that the same 
results are obtained when the thyroids and parathyroids 
are cut awayas when guanidin is giventoafastinganimal. 

In a final paper — Part VIII. — Drs. Noel Paton and 
Leonard Findlay sum up the conclusions they arrived at 
after a consideration of the results of the endless 
experiments recorded in the preceding 174 pages. 
Their conclusion is 

"that the symptoms which follow the removal of the parathyroids 
are due to the action upon the central nervous system of guanidin 
or methyl-guanidin developed in the body as a result of an altera- 
tion in the metabolism." [Metabolism signifies the physiological 
changes and splitting up processes which take place in the system.] 

THE VIVISECTOR'S THEORY. 

This " guanidin," which is supposed to possess such 
remarkable properties, is found, it appears, " only 
in traces in the unfertilised eggs of the hen. During 
the development of the chick it increases steadily till 



13 

the twelfth day, when the increase stops." From what 
it is produced in animal bodies is to form the subject 
of still further investigations. 

Apparently the theory is that, because tremors, 
jerkings, convulsions, etc., can be produced by injecting 
an extractive, called guanidin,. into an animal's body, 
and because when the parathyroids are cut out there 
are similar nervous symptoms, and the excretion of the 
guanidin is increased ; and further because in children 
suffering from idiopathic tetany, there are convulsions 
and also increased guanidin in the urine; therefore, 
tetany in children is caused by guanidin acting in some 
mysterious way upon their parathyroids. In short, 
that tetany in children, and tremors, etc., in dogs 
deprived of their parathyroids, have a common origin. 

It is, after all, but a theory, and it is declared by 
other vivisectors that the evidence is not conclusive, 
which means, we presume, that these wretched animals 
will be called upon to undergo still further torture, to 
establish or disestablish certain ideas which, whatever 
happens, are of no practical value. 

The fallacies connected with the theory are many. 
An adult may have tremors and jerkings after an 
operation on his parathyroids, as does an animal under 
similar circumstances, but a child does not experience 
these tremors and jerkings ; it has convulsions. On 
the other hand, a child, like a dog, may become de- 
pressed and emaciated, but not so a man. 

THE THEORY CRITICISED. 

Furthermore, sometimes one symptom may be 
present and others absent; there is no uniformity in 
any case. For instance, the laryngeal spasm of 
children does not occur in animals when guanidin is 
injected, increased excitability is a symptom practically 
common to all, but we may venture to suggest that 
guanidin is not the only drug which will produce 
nervous excitability, nor is the excision of the 
parathyroids the only operation that leaves nervous 
symptoms of some kind behind. The chief lesson would 
appear to be, that a disturbing operation contiguous to 
so many important organs is calculated to lead to 
the most unexpected and complicated results upon the 
nervous system. We are not surprised, therefore, that 



14 

in spite of the hundreds of experiments which have 
been conducted, these latest investigations have failed 
to carry conviction to the minds of other vivisectors. 
The authors admit that 

"the striking difference between the spontaneous [in children] 
and the post-operative types of the disease [in animals and man] 
is the rarity of muscular twitchings in the former and their great 
frequency in the latter." 

They go on to say that Pineles put this down to " a 
difference between tetany in man and in animals," but 
Drs. Paton and Findlay differ from him, saying, " we 
are inclined to consider it a difference between infantile 
and adult tetany." We would suggest that these 
differences in physical results and the differences in 
opinion about them by equally competent vivisectors, 
suggest once again the truth of our oft-repeated 
statement that you cannot argue from animals to man, 
and that these methods, in spite of all the elaborate 
work, and the large amount of time and money 
expended and the manifest suffering entailed upon 
countless sentient animals, is an altogether unscientific, 
misleading and inconclusive method of investigation. 

"PROBABLY"— THE OLD CONCLUSION. 

This view we believe to be corroborated by the 
admission on page 380 that "idiopathic tetany is a con- 
dition which rarely ends fatally, but parathyroidectomy 
in animals, when complete, is inevitably followed by 
death." This is excused on the ground that " it is 
not a difference of kind but of degree." We venture to 
suggest that it is a difference of fact. 

Their final conclusion is that 

A. " The parathyroids regulate the metabolism of 
guanidin in the body. By doing so they probably 
exercise a controlling influence on the tone of the 
muscles. 

B. "Tetania parathyreopriva [tetany after operation] 
and idiopathic tetany [the spontaneous variety in 
children] are identical as regards their characters 
and metabolism [their own evidence has proved they 
are not] , and, although the histological evidence is 
not conclusive, in all probability the parathyroids 
are implicated in the latter as in the former.'* (The 
italics are ours.) 



15 

In short, these latest researchers, with their doubts 
and contradictions, have left the matter where scores 
of other researchers before them had left it. And 
even had they succeeded in proving their theory, their 
success would not, so far as we can discover, have 
advanced in the least the scheme of useful knowledge 
as applied to the human subject. 

We are still wondering what all this has to do with 
" Rickets," for the investigation of which, it appears, 
these vivisectors claimed the assistance of funds under 
the National Health Insurance Act, and we again ask : 
" What right have the custodians of the public purse to 
distribute large sums of money among English and 
Scotch vivisectors for useless, unscientific and cruel 
operations of this description, when this money was 
collected from the taxpayer for an entirely different 
purpose? " 

Is it anything short of a public scandal ? 



16 



CHAPTER II. 

EXPERIMENTS ON THE BRAINS OF DOGS 



FIFTY pages of the June issue of the Quarterly 
Journal of Experimental Physiology are devoted 
to an account of a number of experiments per- 
formed upon a small organ of the brain called the 
pituitary body. The text is accompanied by fifty-seven 
illustrations. 

In the Abolitionist of March, 1913, we referred to 




" Observation 36. — Adult fox terrier ; a total removal of the pituitary 10 
days after preceding heterogeneous transplant in bone marrow. Photo- 
graph taken 4 days after operation, showing typical attitude, with arching 
of back, etc.. characteristic of onset of cachexia hypophyseopriva." 

similar experiments performed by Sir Victor Horsley on 
fourteen dogs in the year 1886, and we published some 
illustrations showing the horrible deformities resulting 
from such operations. We reproduce two of them. 

The present vivisector, Dr. W. Blair Bell of Liver- 
pool, has subjected twenty-seven bitches to operation. 
He conducted his investigations in the Pathological 
Department of the University of Liverpool, and for 
the facilities afforded him in doing so, he acknowledges 



17 



his indebtedness to Professor Ernest Glynn, whose 
many random and inaccurate assertions on " Microbes 
and the War" were dealt with in our April issue (1917). 

The pituitary body is a very small reddish-grey mass 
lying toward the front part of the base of the brain ; 
it weighs only from five to ten grains, and consists of 
two lobes ; that in front is the larger and is oblong 
in shape, and that behind is round. The two lobes 
differ both in development and structure. In the 
lower animals the two lobes are quite distinct, but 
in the mammalia they become connected together. 

Curiosity led Sir Victor Horsley, thirty years ago, to 
try to ascertain what were the functions of this tiny 
little vascular mass. And since then many others 
have made 
similar 
attempts. 
"In almost 
every 
case," says 
the present 
writer/'the 
operation 
was a fail- 
ure from a 
scientific 
point of 
view, or 
post-opera- 
tive com- 
plications 
resulted in 
the death 
of the 
animal." 

These successive " failures " and " unreliable results " 
were largely due, we are told, to " imperfect methods," 
the vivisectors having sought to reach the base of the 
brain by boring through the jaw, and it is horrible 
to contemplate what the poor animals must have 
suffered, especially in foreign laboratories, where, as 
we know, even an apology for an anaesthetic is dispensed 
with if it should interfere in the least with the vivisector's 
work or convenience. 




'Obsekvation fiO. — Fox terrier puppy, 14 days after total 
removal of the pituitary. Symptoms of cachexia 
hypophyseopriva of 3 days' duration, and more 
advanced than shown in previous illustration. Photo- 
graph a few hours before death." 



18 

Dr. Blair Bell adopted the plan introduced by 
Paulesco, Professor of Physiology at Bucharest, of 
boring an opening in the temples of the twenty-seven 
animals he used up, and his object was, he says, " to 
test the correctness or otherwise of the experiments 
carried out by Paulesco and in attempting to gain 
further information concerning the experimental 
pathology of the pituitary." 

THE OPERATIVE PROCEDURE. 

The article gives a full description of the whole 
procedure. Most of the dogs used were from four to 
seven months old, as the skull plates are thinner in 
younger than in older animals. One animal died from 
bleeding " due to faulty surgical technique." Another 
had an " overdose of ether." A third succumbed 
"from some unknown cause" soon after the pituitary 
body had been totally extirpated. 

A few days prior to the main operation the dogs 
were submitted (under ether) to an abdominal operation 
for the removal of an ovary and another portion of 
the genital organs. The anaesthetic for the chief 
operation on the brain was administered mechanically 
through the windpipe and not by inhalation, as the 
operator wished to work comfortably without having 
the anaesthetist in his way. He says this method was 
" smooth, uninterrupted and safe " and the animal "was 
easily restored to consciousness by the administration 
of air alone" through the tube in the windpipe. We 
confess we do not feel happy about this method in 
the case of a dog strapped immovably to its trough. 
No surgeon would care to perform an operation on the 
skull of a human being under such conditions. But, at 
the same time, it is only right to say that an anaesthetist 
devoted himself solely to watching the animal's breath- 
ing and feeling its heart-beat with his hand under 
the covering cloth. The operator also says it was 
completely under the influence of the anaesthetic before 
he commenced the primary work of opening the skull. 

AND ITS RESULTS. 

The chief symptom arising from this mutilation was 
(as in the cases illustrated on the preceding pages) 
what is called " cachexia hypophyseopriva," that is, 



19 

emaciation due to the removal of the pituitary hody 
and resulting in hideous deformities. But the present 
investigator, Dr. Blair Bell, says he does not agree 
that the attitude assumed by dogs which have been 
operated upon is the specific result of the operation, and 
argues that it is " merely an attitude of weakness which is 
always seen in dogs in an advanced stage of emaciation 
and debility from any cause whatsoever." 

If this be the case, then, what caused the 
emaciation ? If the emaciation and deformity are 
not. the result of the removal of the pituitary body, 
they must be due to the general disorganisation of the 
brain caused by the operation, and if the disorganisation 
can produce similar symptoms to those produced by 
removal of the pituitary, we fail to see that any 
scientific conclusion can be drawn from the operation 
itself. The inevitable contradiction of one another by 
vivisectors is in this instance of some importance. 

By way of control experiments, two bitches were 
submitted to the same procedures as the others ; that 
is, portions of the womb and ovary were excised, and 
the pituitary body was exposed in the brain, but none of 
it removed. The animals lived for months ; but ''neither 
showed any symptoms until shortly before death, when 
one of them died with convulsions." The writer thinks 
it must have been poisoned, because another bitch 
chained up next it died in convulsions at the same time. 

ANIMALS CANNOT TALK! 

In the cases where the pituitary was wholly removed, 
all the animals succumbed in from twenty-two to 
thirty-six hours after the operation. They became 
dull, refused their food, then coma set in and they died. 

Much the same story is told when the anterior 
lobe only was removed; but it was found impossible 
to remove the anterior lobe without damaging the 
posterior. 

So partial removal of the anterior lobe was tried in 
five bitches. They were allowed to live from 9 up 
to 40, 60, 108 and 210 days. Beyond drowsiness or 
" animal very weak through the whole period," nothing 
particular was noticed. Of course the animals were 
unable to express their own feelings in language that 
Dr. Blair Bell could understand. In some cases there 



20 

was wasting of the genital organs, in others there was 
none, which looked as if the conditions depended 
upon circumstances quite outside the removal of the 
pituitarjr. 

Then the whole posterior lobe was removed in one 
dog. It was partially removed in another dog, then 
parts of both anterior and posterior lobes were cut 
away in two other dogs ; then the stalk of the pituitary 
body was clamped and separated in three others. 

A TUMOUR OF WAX. 

Last of all, an artificial tumour was made of wax 
moulded into the shape of a bun, and fixed in the brain 





Fig. 46. — Dog 20. 98 days after operation, showing the emaciation and 
attitude of weakness caused by glycosuria due to the pressure on the 
pituitary of an imitation tumour. (Photograph.) 

of three dogs so as to press on the pituitary body. One 
of the dogs was killed an hour after it came out 
of the anaesthetic, as it appeared to be in pain. But 
the other two were allowed to live for 57 and 
98 days respectively before being killed. The latter 
showed great emaciation whilst the former grew fat. 
We reproduce the illustration of the dog that lived 
for 98 days after having the artificial wax tumour 
fixed in its brain. 

Several pages are devoted to a discussion of the 
contradictions among the various vivisectors who had 
performed the same operations, and the points where 



21 

the author agrees or disagrees with them are carefully 
detailed. He says in conclusion : 

" It is not impossible to reconcile these diverse 
findings, especially if we study the difficulties Cushing 
encountered when he attempted to make his experi- 
mental results conform to his clinical observations. 
Believing that reconciliation was not possible, he was 
tempted to throw over his experimental results in 
favour of the clinical evidence that was in conflict 
with them.' 1 ' 1 (The italics are ours.) 
This is a poor recommendation for experiments on 
animals ! In fact, it affords strikingly clear proofs of 
the uselessness of vivisection. 

The chief conclusion which Dr. Blair Bell comes to 
after all these repulsive operations on the brains of 
twenty-seven bitches is 

that the pituitary body is an organ essential to life, 

as its removal causes death in a few hours. It is 

equally fatal if large portions of the anterior lobe 

are cut away. But partial removal of both lobes is 

not fatal. Partial removal of the anterior portion 

may, if sufficient quantity be removed, cause genital 

atrophy. Artificial tumours in the brain " may 

produce irritation accompanied by glycosuria [sugar 

in the urine] and emaciation." The pituitary body 

appears to be one organ and not two. 

It is difficult to see what practical result has been 

obtained by all this cruelty. " The expenses," Dr. Blair 

Bell tells his readers, " were defrayed out of a fund 

placed by Mr. J. Arthur Smith at my disposal for 

scientific research." He does not say how much the 

total outlay amounted to, but if Mr. J. Arthur Smith 

thinks he has received value for his money, he is easily 

satisfied. 

To be told that by digging out a tiny obscure organ 
at the base of the brain by means of a complicated and 
dangerous operation upon the skull of a little bitch a 
few months old," one can assure the death of the animal 
(which is practically the only piece of positive scientific 
information which has been obtained as the result of this 
extensive and elaborate exploitation of twenty-seven 
sensitive and intelligent creatures) would be grotesque 
and ludicrous in the eyes of every ordinary thinker 
were it not so horrible and senseless. It passes com- 



22 



prehension that intelligent men can spend months and 
months of valuable time in inquisitorial practices which 
are doomed to failure at the very onset, and it is still 
more incomprehensible that they should be allowed to 
continue these practices under the sanction of a 
Christian State. 



23 



CHAPTER III. 



EXPERIMENTS AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, 
READING. 



THE following particulars constitute an excellent 
example of the fact that the Medical Research 
Committee appointed under the National Insur- 
ance Act have more money than they know what to 
do with, and are squandering it upon discreditable 
pursuits. 

In a report furnished by R. Stenhouse Williams, 
M.B., B.Sc, D.P.H., Research Bacteriologist in 
Dairying to the National Medical Research Com- 
mittee and others, we learn that the object of 
their investigations was to find out if the bacillus of 
tuberculosis still lived " when excreted upon pasture 
land in the faeces of cows." 

The premiss apparently being accepted that the 
tubercle bacillus is the originator of tuberculosis (which 
is extremely doubtful) it was presumed that if it still 
lived on pasture land after being excreted from 
cows, the land itself might become a fertile source 
of infection to any cows subsequently grazing thereon. 

This supposition, of course, leaves out of account the 
fact, that a so-called pseudo tubercle bacillus infests 
nearly all dairies, and cannot be differentiated from 
the genuine article. Apparently, it is a pseudo bacillus 
when the cattle are not tuberculous, but it is a genuine 
bacillus when they are ! That seems to be as far as 
up-to-date science has penetrated. 

The first step that was taken was an offer to examine 
the faeces of the cows of any farmer who was willing to 
grant permission for that purpose. 

The description of the collection of the dung, as 
given in detail, is most graphic, and unless the cow was 
altogether deficient in a sense of humour, she must 
have got more fun out of the procedure than the 
scientist who waited upon her. 



24 

COW WORRYING. 

The scientific investigator dressed himself up in " a 
sterile overall " and patiently stood by the cows with " a 
sterile spoon " in his hand ready to catch the dung as 
it fell from them when their ladyships were pleased to 
oblige. He then promptly placed this in " a sterile 
vessel " that he kept near, and at once hurried off with 
the precious contents to his laboratory. 

But it appears this method was found to be rather 
" inconvenient, more especially when the dung from a 
particular cow was desired." So a quicker and easier 
method was decided upon. At first a specially made 
spoon was introduced into the cow's rectum, but this 
proved unsatisfactory ; so the hands and arms of the 
investigator were washed and painted with iodine, the 
orifice of the cow's rectum was also cleaned and painted 
with iodine, and the hand was then introduced and 
some of the salubrious material withdrawn. " With 
the help of a sterile spoon it was then transferred to a 
sterile vessel and brought to the laboratory " where it 
was kept in an ice chest until required. 

THE GUINEA-PIGS' TURN. 

Microscopic examination was deemed to be quite in- 
sufficient for discriminating between a real and a false 
tubercle bacillus, so guinea-pigs were requisitioned, 
into which, it was decided, the faeces of the cows must 
be injected ! And if the guinea-pigs contracted tuber- 
culosis after this sewage matter had been pumped 
into their bodies, the scientific mind came to the con- 
clusion that the tuberculosis was due to the germ in 
the sewage and not to the sewage itself. 
And this is how the sewage was prepared : 
A quantity of faeces was mixed with a sterile saline 
in a sterile stoppered bottle, well shaken up, poured 
into a sterile cylinder and allowed to stand one hour. 
At the end of that time the greater portion was 
poured off into a centrifuge tube, some antiseptic 
added and the whole was shaken at intervals for half- 
an-hour. Then it was whirled in the centrifuge tube 
at the rate of 4,000 revolutions a minute for a quarter 
of an hour. The fluid was poured off, the sediment 
washed with sterile saline and again centrifugalised. 
The fluid was once more removed and more sterile saline 
added, when this delectable emulsion of faecal matter 



25 

and salt water was considered fit for injection into 
guinea-pigs. It requires a " scientific mind " to under- 
stand the rationale of these weird proceedings. 

But bits of straw blocked the syringes, so further 
refinements were found to be necessary. The fasces 
were mixed with sterile distilled water (!), the suspension 
was filtered through muslin and the residue in the 
muslin bag squeezed with forceps in order to get 
through as much of the emulsion as possible. 

AMOUNT OF FILTH REQUIRED TO KILL. 

The liquid faeces was then inoculated into guinea- 
pigs— twenty-six to start with — and " none died." The 
quantity of fasces was thereupon increased, eighty-six 
guinea-pigs were inoculated and " all survived." The 
proportion of faeces was still further increased and the 
filth was injected into twelve guinea-pigs, when three 
of them died within three days ; so the quantity of 
faeces was reduced, and ninety-six more guinea-pigs 
were inoculated. As only two died out of this lot, 
it was considered a very gratifying result. 

Encouraged by this scientific success of injecting 
the faeces of cows into guinea-pigs without killing 
them, the investigators decided to treat a similar 
quantity of faeces for one hour with antiformin — a 
disinfectant — which they thought would not kill the 
tubercle bacilli, but might enable them to pump a larger 
quantity of faeces into the bodies of the long suffering 
guinea-pigs. So 112 guinea-pigs were inoculated with 
this precious emulsion, and seven of them died in a 
few days. 

This seemed so to gratify the experimenters, that 
they decided to get in a still larger proportion of 
faeces, by treating the latter with antiformin for two 
hours instead of one. Forty-eight more guinea-pigs 
were requisitioned for this illuminating programme 
and fifteen died within a few days. 

Of the twenty-seven guinea-pigs which had died 
within seven days of their inoculation, twenty-two had 
shown marked signs of septic infection spreading from 
the seat of inoculation, in spite of the antiformin, so it 
was concluded that the proportion of faeces must be 
reduced or the antiformin increased, or else the faeces 
must be allowed first to decompose. 



26 

Fasces two days old were then treated with anti- 
formin for four hours and the stuff was injected into 
six guinea-pigs, five of which died in three days. 

Then they injected twelve guinea-pigs with faeces 
that had been kept for a fortnight before the anti- 
formin was added, and two of these died in seven daj^s, 
suffering from diarrhoea. 

FANTASTIC PREPARATIONS OF FILTH. 

A hundred guinea-pigs were then experimented with. 
By keeping the fasces a week, incubating for one night, 
shaking with distilled water, filtering through muslin, 
revolving this mess in a centrifugal machine at a 
terrific rate, again incubating the sediment, adding 
antiformin, again centrifugalising, and mixing with 
salt and water, the scientists decided that they had 
"diminished the danger" of septic infection and 
" increased its chance " of not killing the germs ! 

This was the sublime scientific result which they 
arrived at, after fooling about for months with the 
disgusting job of pumping cows' fasces into 500 
guinea-pigs ! 

Then follows a long account of the results of the 
post-mortems on the inoculated guinea-pigs. It seems 
that fasces were obtained from 179 cows altogether, 
scattered among three widely-separated districts. 
Incidentally, it is interesting to notice that, in one 
district, twenty-five out of eighty cows gave a positive 
reaction to tuberculin, but no evidence of tuberculosis 
was forthcoming on examining the fasces, which looks 
bad for the tuberculin test ! 

The authors seem very elated at their " good 
fortune " in finding a cow which gave a " positive 
result" in its fasces, and they seem quite to rejoice 
in the fact that of two of the guinea-pigs inoculated 
therewith, " one died within three days and one after 
forty-three " ! 

It was found that glands of the guinea-pigs were 
infested, the liver and spleen enlarged, and bacilli in 
the pus. Material from these glands was injected 
into more guinea-pigs, which died from this slow 
torture at varying periods. 

The rest of the report consists of a wearying re- 
iteration of similar disgusting details. 



HARMLESS TUBERCLE BACILLI. 

Three cows which yielded such profitable results 
as tubercle bacilli in their faeces were purchased by the 
National Medical Research Committee with National 
Insurance money, and at the end of five and seven 
months respectively, they were still in '"good condition" 
although continuing to excrete tubercle bacilli — which 
did not appear to do them any harm ! 

The cows gave plenty of milk, and there is no 
evidence that anybody was any the worse for drinking it. 

The report is, in our opinion, of a most ludicrous, 
repulsive, unscientific and inconclusive nature. 

In the first place, the experimenters take for granted 
that the tubercle bacillus is the cause of tuberculosis. 
There is no definite ground for that assertion. The 
presence of the tubercle bacillus is practically unknown 
in the earliest stages of the disease and is absent in a 
large majority of advanced cases. Moreover, they do 
not settle the point that there are psuedo acid-fast bacilli 
which cannot be differentiated from so-called true 
bacilli, and no scientific evidence has yet been vouch- 
safed to show that they are not one and the same thing. 

In the second place, they conclude that when they 
inject fasces, containing tubercle bacilli, into guinea- 
pigs, it is the bacilli which produce infection and 
caseation of the several organs involved, and they 
decline to entertain any suspicion that the effete 
matter itself, apart from any germs, might be the 
causative factor. 

In the third place, if, as Dr. Charles Creighton has, 
we believe, conclusively proved, tuberculosis is a physio- 
logical process and not a biological one, then sewage 
matter would be as likely to produce tuberculosis by 
blocking the capillary blood vessels, as would the 
tubercle bacillus, and the latter, if responsible for the 
condition, would only incur that responsibility by 
reason of its mechanically inducing a similar result, 
and not because of any imaginary vital disease- 
producing agency in the bacillus itself. 

THE WORST BLUNDER. 

In the fourth place, this method of testing a theory 
is an unscientific one. To inoculate sewage matter, 
with or without bacilli, beneath the skin of an animal 
directly into the blood stream, is contrary to all natural 



28 

methods. Nature knows no entrance into the internal 
economy except by the nose or the mouth, and she has 
her various apparati ready to render innocuous, as far 
as possible, intrusion by any other way. But to pump 
material through the skin — an organ intended only for 
excretory purposes — is contrary to natural science and 
to all hygienic laws, and can be no possible guide to 
a scientific conclusion. 

In the fifth place, the organs of a guinea-pig are by 
no means a scientific sphere in which to judge, by 
analogy, conditions affecting higher animals living 
under altogether different conditions. 

In the sixth place, from a moral standpoint, these 
acts of cruelty — bestial cruelty — towards hundreds of 
guinea-pigs, which, however low in the animal scale, 
are sentient and sensitive, are reprehensible ; and it is 
equally immoral to employ cultured men who should 
be occupied with work of national importance, upon 
such demoralising occupations, at the expense of 
moneys taken from the pockets of the workers of this 
country, in times like the present. 

What is of far more importance, is the description 
given in the latter part of the report of some of the 
byres from which the cows came. Here is one: 

"The cow, which was found to be excreting tubercle bacilli in 
her faeces stood in a shed with seven other cows ; the only exit 
was down the dunging passage of another shed, in which stood 
four more cows. The only means of ventilation was an eight-inch 
drainpipe high up in one of the walls. There was no through 
ventilation, and two fixed windows, two feet six inches by ten 
inches in the roof, gave the only light available. The cubic space 
per cow was 299 cubic feet. Neither the cows nor the shed were 
washed ; indeed it was doubtful whether there was a sufficient 
supply of water for such purposes. The result of these conditions 
was that the cows, which only went out of the shed each day for 
a few minutes night and morning to water, were in a very dirty 
state and the sheds themselves showed every evidence of manurial 
contamination." 

THE OBVIOUS IGNORED. 

The authors conclude that pigs get tuberculosis 
by drinking the milk of cows living under such 
conditions. It does not seem to occur to them that 
pigs frequently live under conditions quite as bad if 
not worse than these. 

But, anyhow, here lies the answer, as to the cause 
of tuberculosis. It surely is not necessary to spend 



29 

large sums of money upon the squirting of cow manure 
into guinea-pigs to discover how tuberculosis may be 
prevented ! But, we presume, to start an agitation for 
the demolition of all such scandalously insanitary 
quarters for cows as are here described is not a 
sufficiently "scientific" job for the National Medical 
Research Committee, nor would it provide a per- 
manent remunerative post at Reading University for 
a scientific experimentalist. 

There is a final recommendation of the Tuberculin 
Test for cows, in spite of the evidence afforded by the 
writers of its uselessness. But this they attribute 
to its " not being carried out with sufficient care " — 
a convenient excuse by which every market-place 
quack explains away his failures. 

That futile and ridiculous investigations of this kind 
should be allowed to take place in the name of science 
and under the auspices of a National Health Authority is 
a public scandal of the gravest description, and should 
call for the immediate attention of members of the 
House of Commons. 



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